It’s no secret that for crafters and hobbyists, one of the best places to find tutorials and projects on the internet is Pinterest. While Pinterest can be a wonderful resource, keep in mind that it is just that, a resource. I will attempt to weigh-in on some of the more pressing etiquette concerns facing both users and the people who create material for Pinterest.
I Am A Fan
First, it is a well known fact that I am a fan of Pinterest, you can see my Pinterest header above. I have 38 boards, over which half of them are dedicated solely to polymer clay. But here’s where the “sticky” parts come in … what you are and what you are not allowed to pin, not only in relation to polymer clay, but in any content on Pinterest.
EDIT: I now have over 60 boards dedicated to polymer clay. Come & See.
Don’t Forget Your Manners
Pinterest acts as a visual pinboard to store ideas, projects, tips, recipes, helpful life hints, and so much more. Depending on what you are pinning, depends on the type of “etiquette” you should have on the site. Because this blog is dedicated to polymer clay, today’s topic will talk about polymer clay and the etiquette, the do’s and dont’s of pinning on Pinterest. While there are dozens of do’s and don’t that I could go through, I have picked the top 3 things that I see being done in error on Pinterest.
Always Reference the Original Source
Whenever you pin something on Pinterest, you must make sure that you have given credit where credit is due. It is considered poor form (and stealing to some), when you pin their work without referencing the original source, ie: their name or website. Here is an example of one of my polymer clay pins, featuring the work of Sarah Shriver, a world reknown polymer clay artist. I have seen this identical pin floating around on Pinterest with no reference to the original artist. This is considered one of the biggest “don’ts” of pinning. Always be sure that you reference the artist.
Correct an Un-cited Pin
If the artist is not mentioned on the pin that you are repinning, click on the pin and go to the source, it will ultimately lead you to a blog or website where the pin originated. Add your our description and list the original artists name or the website name. There is NO excuse for your pins not to have “credit” given, other than your own unwillingness to be a fair player.
Just Plain Wrong – The Biggest Don’t
Do NOT, whatever you do, pin someone else’s work to a board entitled, “Things I want to make.” Copyright is a huge deal with artists, especially ones that own their copyrights. Pinterest is rampant with crafts, ideas, tutorials, and there’s so much of it people think it’s okay for it to be pinned for themselves to make later…this could NOT be more wrong.
For example, I see Mickey Mouse all over the place on Pinterest. If you have permission from Disney to make Mickey then continue on, the sad reality is that 95% of people were NOT granted licenses to reproduce him. The same is true for Blue’s Clues, Harry Potter, and thousands more … Even Parker and Lolly. While some artists will see it as a form of flattery, other artists will see it as a slap in the face and may even feel hurt enough by it to write to you regarding what you pinned and why you shouldn’t have it on your “I Want to Make This” board.
Just Because You Repinned It, Doesn’t Mean Anything
I understand that we all make mistakes when we pin. Everyone does; including me. However, this being said, one of the worst things you can do is repin someone else’s pin without changing their description. If you like something enough to repin it, you should like it enough to click on it first and see who made it, remove the first pinner’s “now this is awesome” comment and write a much better description. You are responsible for everything you either pin or repin … no exceptions.
Which brings me to my final point…
The Only Thing You Should Be Pinning are Pins You’ve Clicked On First
Why is this the case? Not everyone clicks on their pins, they just repin pictures. Over half of the pins on Pinterest do not go where you think they will. Why? The ease of the “edit” button. People have repinned your work and then changed the URL tag to go to their bogus sites. So please … before you repin anything, take a moment and click it first. If it goes where it should, then repin, if not, you’ll be glad you took that 5 extra seconds to check.
There are lots more do’s and don’t for Pinterest and even polymer clay and pinterest…but for now, this is a start to help each of you.
Thanks for joining me today,
20 thoughts on “Polymer Clay & Pinterest”
Katie, question about copyright information. Pinterest is public domain site which to me means that if you put your images there, you are making it available to EVERYONE to do as they please with regards to making it. I know it’s nice to be able to show off our work but do you need to put a copyright notice on the image? I know a lot of people use watermarks and such but I noticed the Sara Shriver image did not have anything like her name or copyright on the actual image.
Hi Terry! Great question. For the first part of your question, YES, Pinterest is a public domain site. However, just because you put your image there, you are NOT giving permission for ANYONE to copy it. Copyright is copyright. Period. If I pin an image of Mickey from Disney, it does NOT give me the right to make it because I do NOT own the rights to that character, Disney does. Just because it appeared online doesn’t mean it’s now FREE to the public.
Regarding watermarking, it’s 100% up to you. I have watermarks on 95% of my images. My best recommendation is to always pin from your own site and never direct upload, this will help to protect the integrity of your images. By pinning from your site, it will also help mark the image as “yours” even with a watermark. You are correct about the Sara Shriver image that it had no watermark or designation. I did a reverse google search to find that it was her work.
I hope this helps.
Thanks Katie, that does help.
Thanks, Katie. This info is really useful. I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere else. I admit I have re-pinned things I like to a board that I share with friends, so that they can see what I’ve enjoyed. But I have never given credit to the creator, figuring if they click on the image they’ll see who it is. Now I’ll think twice and research and make a comment, and give credit. As for pinning something without clicking the image, I rarely do that because sometimes those links have become corrupted, going to an unsafe or unsavory site. Fortunately I have good computer security in my environment.
Great Carol! It’s hard to remember, but it’s a WONDERFUL courtesy to extend to those who wrote the paid or free tutorials. Thanks for stopping by.
Hi Katie, I have been on Pinterest for a while now and do follow the rules. Many times I have clicked on the URL of picture only for it to come up no such site, error for a sight, etc. If I can’t find the legal source I do pin what I want. I also do click on the picture too because I have discovered it is quicker than URL site.
Wow I did not know this, thanks for info.. Internet is good but can also be trouble for those kind people showing how to make things cly or not ..
This is very true Sandy. This is why our of courtesy to others you ALWAYS reference your sources, this is the biggest problem with Pinterest …
These are great tips, Katie! I’m guilty of improper etiquette at times. I will strive to be better.
Another tip for pinners pinning from etsy…..it is a great idea to remove the price of the item when you pin it. It’s as simple as backspacing a few times to remove it. Sometimes an artist’s prices will change over time, and we don’t want them stuck on pinterest with those prices!
Great tip Lisa! I agree with you! Especially now that Pinterest has “rich pins,” it is no longer necessary to add the price of your item when pinning from your Etsy shop. Pinterest takes care of that for you, even telling you right on the pin if am item is in stock.
Thanks for these tips. I do pin without always checking the original…that is often due to time constraints. Then I try to come back and take a closer look at the info I have saved. It is like picking a bunch of books off a shelf then deciding which to read! I do try to follow up and add my own comments. So, that is how the whole thing works for me and I don’t pin to pass on to others as much as I am saving things I want to check out later when I have time.
Carla! Great information. Keep in mind that even though you are pinning for yourself and not someone else, your pin is still searchable by others. Therefore even though you are not pinning for others but for yourself, the etiquette still applies.
Revisiting this through the copyright conversation. As a former professional photographer (when we used FILM), I fully get the copyright thing. I have gone back to my pins…not all, but many. A few nice photos do not link to the correct site, but I still like the photos. When my hubby was sick with cancer it was a good way to relax to pin things that I was inspired by so I could go back and enjoy them. Now I am alone and gradually cleaning up some of my messes! Forgive me, anyone out there if I didn’t pin “correctly”. I just like to look at the pictures to get inspired! I don’t like to copy but to create…
I agree with you on these points. I do have a question. As in the link you provided for the pin featuring Sarah Shriver’s work, when you go to the pin, there is not a website link, just ‘image’. How do you go about finding the source then? Thanks so much!
Often times an artist will DIRECT POST their pins to Pinterest. I too have done that on occasion. When that happens there is no URL that it directs to, rather it directs back to the uploaded graphic, as in this case.
Thank you so much for this information, Katie. I do try most of the time, but sometimes surfing while waiting for sleep to overtake me may make me sloppy. I will go back through my boards and double-check!
Thank you for the reminder. I guess I better get on over to the pins and recheck them. and thank you to Ginger of The Blue Bottle Tree for sharing this post.
Welcome to the blog Kate! I’m glad that you learned something. Come back again!
I’m pretty new to Pinterest and still feeling my way. Thank you so much for these helpful etiquette suggestions!
You are welcome Anita!